If I imagine myself entering that debate today, I’d be more likely to take the opposite side. Ask me what changed my mind, and I’ll shrug, tell you that I guess my priorities shifted.
But when I read Parable, there’s…nothing really wrong with it. But I can’t help noticing that eight years ago, New Atheism was really popular, and now it’s really unpopular.
Finally the idea of “low-status” and “bad and wrong” have merged so fully in my mind that the idea seems terrible and ridiculous to me, and I only remember it’s true if I force myself to explicitly consider the question.
And even then, it’s in a condescending way, where I feel like the people who say it’s true deserve low status for not being smart enough to remember not to say it.
There’s one more possibility that bothers me even worse than the socialization or traumatization theory.
I’m going to use science-y sounding terms just as an example, but I don’t actually think it’s this in particular – we know that the genes for liberal-conservative differences are mostly NMDA receptors in the brain.
Then when other people say it, I start looking down on them for being bad at public relations.
I’m pretty embarassed by Parable On Obsolete Ideologies, which I wrote eight years ago.
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A lot of the “wisdom” I’ve “gained” with age is the kind of wisdom that helps me channel James C. Then I realize it’s considered low-status and cringeworthy.
Scott instead of Richard Dawkins; how sure am I that this is the right path? Then I make a principled decision to avoid saying it – or say it only in a very careful way – in order to protect my reputation and ability to participate in society.
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